On the subject of: Bullying and harassment
So I’ve been putting off writing this, or talking about this on a public scale, for a long while now. However, after having spoken to a few people about this, who have all advised that I make light of this, and also after reading Alexis’ post about ItsKingsleyBitch, I’ve decided that I should share a story of mine that happened last year.
Before I get into it, there’s something that needs to be said about myself: Up until last year, I used to upload videos onto Youtube, and I also used to regularly broadcast on YouNow. I’ve also been suffering from depression since the age of 13. Growing up through adolescence, my depression has been one of many reasons why people have targeted me for bullying and victimizing. Some days I can deal with the grievances against me, whereas others it becomes extremely difficult for me to deal with, and as it builds up, my depression gets worse.
Spring time of 2013, I was still living with my parents, who I admittedly do not have the greatest relationship with; I could never live up to their expectations, nor do they approve of my aspirations in life. I was also working a full-time job at night, however I was fully aware that I was due to be sacked, as despite my best efforts, they were not happy with either my presence nor my rate of work. At the time, it felt as though that the people I considered friends were…not very supportive of me, which sent me into a state of depression where I just didn’t want to get out of bed. It got to the point where I questioned whether what I was doing in life had any significance. And so, I started doubting myself and gave serious consideration to ceasing the few things in life I took any enjoyment in.
At the time, I had considered Lewis Parker (aka iLewis95) a good enough friend to confide in, or at least tell me that I was being dumb in wanting to give up with my creative aspirations for the sake of a low point in my life; and thinking about the times I’d taken to be there for him, I had hoped that he, in turn, would be there for me. However, when I told him I was considering giving up on making online content, for some reason his response was to instead laugh in my face. When I asked why he was laughing, apparently watching Youtube videos was more important than a conversation, and following this, he had chosen to ignore me.
Not long after this, another (now former) friend had set me over the edge by making a dismissive comment about how I don’t have the right to be depressed because of other people’s problems. I had planned to kill myself the following day after my shift at work. After ending my friendship with this person, I had contacted four other people, to apologise for my later actions. Toward the end of my shift the next morning, I had contacted Lewis, to apologise, but also to let him know that laughing at me had not helped my situation. I did not blame him for my choice.
Between the events of having made my choice and the time I had planned to carry it out, Mike Jaroszczak (aka mjerrytv), among others, had been trying to contact me. Because of Mike’s persitence, I felt obliged to respond to him at the time. However, on the day that I had planned to kill myself, the opportunity was not available because of an unforeseen visitor, so I had postponed until the following day. When I made my attempt, it was intervened by a passer-by in the street, who had pushed me out of the path of an oncoming truck. It took me a few days before I felt brave enough to face everyone again. I explained to Mike why I made an attempt on my life, and found that he had removed me from his social media connections.
I had decided, not long after, to remove people from my Facebook who I either didn’t know, or who had belittled me or made me feel insignificant. Among these people, I had also deleted Lewis. I don’t blame Lewis for being angry, however when I tried to explain why I had decided to remove him, he ignored what I had told him and still argued over the fact that he had been deleted. This argument took place over a span of two weeks, on three different days. During the final contact, Lewis had decided to accuse me of lying about everything - my depression and my suicide attempt, and that I had contacted dozens of people who I stopped talking to beforehand. Within the next few minutes, Lewis had taken to Twitter. He had then also got Mike to start harassing me, sending me threatening text messages and trying to harass me by phone.
It got to the point where I had to contact the police, who had in turn contacted Mike to stop trying to contact me. Except, Mike didn’t stop. Mike had been invited into a group call on Skype, and had persuaded someone to add me to the chat, where Mike and one other person proceeded to leave threatening and harassing messages, claiming that I was trying to take him to court and sue him (which I wasn’t, I just wanted the threats to stop). This was also broadcast on Mike’s Twitter account. The harassment did not stop there.
As previously mentioned, I used to broadcast on YouNow on a somewhat regular basis, but not so much at this point, due to another person also harassing me over another issue. A friend of mine had persuaded me to get back into broadcasting again, and we decided to go back-to-back (when the queue system was still in place on the site). For some unknown reason, both Lewis and Mike (and Mike’s friend from Skype) had learned of this and had in an attempt to harass me during my broadcast, the three of them tried to vote off my friend. After my friend had called out their names while seeing who was watching, I had typed the words “I know who they are, and I know why they’re doing it” in response to the vast number of dislikes my friend was getting. Both Lewis and Mike immediately denied any involvement, even though I had not mentioned anyone’s names. I had to wait for three hours before all three of them had left, at which point I was unable to make a broadcast. The harassment did not stop there.
Both Mike and Lewis then exchanged commentaries about things I had said and done after my suicide attempt to each other on Twitter, which three of my friends had made me aware of. A few months after this, I went to London with a friend, where we both encountered Lewis en route to a gathering. As my friend was also a friend of Lewis, the two stopped to talk; Lewis then began talking to me in a condescending manner, going as far as putting his hands on me, which not only made me extremely uncomfortable, but confused my friend, who was aware of what had already happened. The harassment had initially stopped there until a few months ago.
A friend of mine had read one of Lewis’ blogs, in which he talks about making mistakes, and how he has never made any mistakes in his life until that point. In this blog, he talks about how he had “something really shitty done to [him] which made [him] think like [their] friendship was nothing.” I have read the blog through and, while I cannot say for certain that it IS about me, there is also no reason why it wouldn’t be.
Having typed all this out, I expect to receive heavy criticism. After all, I attempted suicide. Many people believe that my depression is a lie, and will thus argue as such. Others will also say that I deserve everything that they threw at me which, with the exception of the above paragraph only, took place over a period of nine months. I can understand sore feelings, but to constantly harass anyone for nine consecutive months is unnecessary. I do not expect an apology - what they have done, and what they have put me through goes beyond an apology. However, what I want people to learn from reading this is that, people aren’t always who they appear to be online. People will always try to make people think highly of them when given an audience, and will as such attempt to use that to bring others down.